There have been so many beautiful women in cinematic history that it is difficult to choose the most beautiful of them all. Certain names, of course, are mentioned more than others: Garbo, Dietrich, Hepburn... Louis B. Mayer named Hedy Lamarr (really Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) after the fallen Barbara La Marr, whom he deemed the most beautiful woman in show business, (quite the compliment). Grace Kelly too remains one of the few whom we hold close to our hearts, with men admiring her beauty and women trying to emulate it. It is quite possible that we could give her a promotion from her "Princess Grace" status to make her "Queen Kelly," the most beautiful of all Hollywood beauties. Faces like this, after all, don't come around every day.
Grace was more than a pretty face, however. Her exteriors merely amplified her inner light: a passion, kindness, and allure that could not be duplicated (no matter how hard Hitchcock tried, hello Vertigo). Her distance, manners, and class put her in a category all her own, and her talent made her deserving of her elevated position in the public eye. Placed high on a pedestal by her fans, she became the unobtainable Goddess, admired from afar and thus more desired than ever. Her collaborations with Hitch (Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, and To Catch a Thief) catapulted her to an even greater position of fame, yet still she remained separate, as if protected by a crystal pane of glass. In life, you always want what you can't have, and so the world fell in love with Grace, who always gave just enough to keep us guessing, keep us wanting, and keep us coming back for more.
What is most interesting is that this was no publicity ploy or calculated business move. As shrewd as Grace was, she never lied to the public or put on airs to advance her career. Her alleged aloofness was genuine modesty and self-discretion. She may have concealed, but she never misled. The woman she appeared to be was her true self, or at least some portion of herself. There is always more that people don't see, and for a shy, private person like Grace, there was a lot more brimming underneath the surface than the general public would ever know. Elegant and passionate, Grace was also a fighter, but she never used her fists. Instead, she used cunning and style. She went against her family's wishes to be the actress she wanted to become; she went against Hollywood's pleas by saying "farewell forever" and marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco. She leaned on no one, she asked for nothing, and everything she became she built with her own two, delicate hands. She is rarely given credit for this, seen as merely a pretty girl who got lucky because of her looks. True, her perfectly formed features opened many doors, but the number of "pretty girls" who crash and burn under the pressures of movie town prove that there was much more going on with Grace than her face.
Fascinating and Fashionable...